HIL: Captain Ashley Jackson wins it for Ranchi Rays

Defending Champions Ranchi Rays defeated Dabang Mumbai 1-0 to extended its lead at the top of the table to 37 points.

The home crowd in Ranchi was treated to another clinical performance by the defending Champions Ranchi Rays which defeated Dabang Mumbai 1-0. Ranchi extended its lead at the top of the table to 37 points with its 5th straight win on home turf.

The first half of the match between Ranchi Rays and Dabang Mumbai H.C started with both the teams matching each other in every move. Ranchi confident, on its home ground, started making strong moves but Mumbai kept an impeccable defensive line to deny the Ranchi Rays a clear shot at the goal. Mumbai pressed hard at the end of the first quarter but the pressure could not be converted into a goal. The first quarter ended with the scores level.

The second quarter started with the Ranchi Rays attacking to break the defensive deadlock but the Mumbai defence held firm.

The story of the third quarter was also similar with both the teams going neck to neck. The breakthrough finally came at 5 minutes into the third quarter with a penalty corner conversion by the Ranchi Rays Captain Ashley Jackson. Dabang Mumbai started attacking in order to search for an equalizer but none of the attacks were able to penetrate the Ranchi defence. The golden opportunity for Mumbai came in the 44th minute through a penalty corner but it was beautifully saved by the Ranchi Rays goalkeeper Tyler Lovell. The score at the end of third quarter stood at 1-0 in favour of Ranchi Rays.

Fourth quarter started with the Dabang Mumbai team looking desperate for a goal. It got an opportunity through back to back penalty corners but Tyler Lovell stopped everything that came his way. Dabang Mumbai dominated the play for the last moments of the fourth quarter making regular circle penetrations but none of the shots could get through the tall figure of Tyler Lovell. It two penalty corner opportunities in the closing moments of the match but failed to convert. The match ended with a win for the Ranchi Rays 1-0.

The next match of the Hockey India League will be played between Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Kalinga Lancers in Sector 42, Hockey Stadium in Chandigarh, tomorrow.